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BioLinX Report Summary

Project ID: 652692
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BioLinX (Creating links to speed-up innovation in the bio economy)

Reporting period: 2015-07-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Creating links to speed-up innovation in the bio economy is not only the full title of the BioLinX project, but also the primary goal of the project. Migration towards a more bio-based economy offers important opportunities for Europe, both in terms of ecology and in terms of economy. The bio-economy provides an essential basis for green growth strategy for Europe’s industrial sectors.

The EC has successfully supported bio-economy related projects during FP7 and will continue to do so under Horizon 2020. However a range of hurdles, as identified within FP7 projects like Bio-TIC and R4R, slow down the pace of innovation and market exploitation of research results in the bio-economy. These hurdles are strongly intertwined and mitigating them requires joint efforts by multiple actors. Actors from within and outside of the value chain (like regions, governments, advocacy parties, financial parties) should be involved to bring innovation to the market.

BioLinX is contributing towards bridging research and innovation efforts in the bio-economy.The initiating BioLinX partners have leading roles in their regional bio-economies and have a strong foothold in the lignocellulose, agro- and agro-waste feedstock sectors. BioLinX will engage with sixty or more EU co-funded biobased projects from all stages of the value chain. Furthermore, BioLinX will create links with 10 key regional Bioeconomy clusters in Europe. The relevant partners of the selected projects and regions will be invited to participate in the BioLinX Innovation Linking & Support Program. This program consist of activities focusing on Brokerage, Innovation Incubation, Business development, Finance & Funding and will identify and share good practices. BioLinX will be complemented with activities on advocacy, communication and dissemination.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

BioLinX started on July 1st 2015. The set up of BioLinX is to work via three waves. In wave 1 and 2 we approached a total of 725 contacts, reaching a total of 509 unique projects. BioLinX supported 64 projects directly and impacted 166 projects indirectly. In wave 1 BioLinX worked with a list compiled by the EC based on FP7s KBBE framework. In wave 2 BioLinX worked with a list composed of projects from FP7 (hence, not only KBBE), H2020, INTERREG IV, ESIF/EARDF and LIFE.

During wave 1 BioLinX learned that the focus should be on the potential ‘innovation owners’ within the projects. In wave 2 BioLinX therefore focused on identifying the innovation owner rather than the project coordinator. The focus on ‘innovation owners’ has been key to establishing a sensible way of connecting the projects to the various services that BioLinX has to offer.

Next to analyzing projects, BioLinX builds strong links to regions as regions. After completing the analyses on the originating regions (North-Italy, Southwest Sweden and Southwest Netherlands) BiolinX has started a process of identifying relevant regions. Based on the combination of various sources (RIS3, Vanguard, ERRIN) BioLinX compiled a long list of more than 100 potential regions and, after applying a series of criteria, selected 8 regions. To date BioLinX has analyzed 5 additional regions (Central Finland, Bothnic Region, Piedmont, Saxony-Anhalt and Ireland).

BioLinX organized various brokerage events. A first brokerage event with Bio refinery as a central theme was held in The Netherlands (Breda, 95 participants). Various project partners from FP7-KBBE project were invited to present their (business) case. The second brokerage in Italy (Vicenza, approx. 100 participants) was co-hosted with IFIB. The main theme for BioLinX was on clusters and the benefit of clustering activities. Finally, a third brokerage event was held in Sweden in conjunction with the 7th Cellulose workshop, (Örnsköldsvik, 36 participants). The theme of the brokerage event was on the combination of projects and regions. Next to brokerage BioLinX provided incubation services to interested parties. As a result of the brokerage and incubation services, BioLinX provided incubation support to 16 projects and brokerage support to 52 projects (of which 4 also have received incubation support).

BioLinX also provides entrepreneurial training (business development) and VC events (Finance & Funding). In the Netherlands (Bergen op Zoom, 172 participants), the first entrepreneurial trainings and Finance Academy took place in combination with business development and another brokerage event. Based on the invites from the partners of BiolinX and Biobased Delta a total of 12 companies signed up for the Entrepreneurial trainings and the opportunity to pitch in front of experts the next day. In the end 10 companies with 13 participants took part in both trainings and 8 of the companies felt comfortable enough to present their case to the experts the following day. In a parallel session a dedicated 2-hour public funding workshop “Obtaining public finance” was held as well.
Next to trainings and events, BioLinX provides a Partnering and Intelligence Platform. The BioLinX Intelligence platform provides access to the database of research and development projects, the database of patents from the European Patent Office and the Open Access repositories of Scientific Papers. The Partnering Platform brings together the details of 4.650 participants (organizations).

In order to be adaptive, BioLinX has set up a framework for Reflective Monitoring. The framework helps to prepare for intake calls and events, evaluate events onsite and/or afterwards and to identify success stories. Furthermore, the frameworks helps to steer and adjust the direction of the project while executing the required tasks. BioLinX also works with an Interregional Bio-Economy Experts Panel (IBEEP). Starting from the projects own assets (project tea

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In total we supported 64 projects directly and impacted 166 projects indirectly. As its exploitation strategy, BioLinX is working towards a strategic relation with Vanguard Biobased Initiative. Vanguard and BiolinX share the same starting points, being regions in combination with innovation. BioLinX provided incubation support to 16 projects and brokerage support to 52 projects (of which 4 also have received incubation support). Moreover, 10 companies enjoyed entrepreneurial trainings and 8 out of them performed a pitch in front of a panel of experts from finance and industry. As a result of linking parties one company is receiving direct support from one of the project partners to pitch at non-BioLinX events, and because of the brokerage in Italy two parties are now in the process of signing a NDA. Finally we reach out to over 66.000 contacts through our communications and dissemination activities sofar.

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